Out of Nowhere: One man’s fight for justice in the wake of police violence

EIGHT years ago, on September 16, 2015, Godwin Udoh’s life changed forever.

That night, returning from church with his wife, Idongesit, and their four children, they encountered four policemen at Ijegun bus stop in Lagos, Nigeria.

When they failed to pay a N2,000  bribe, one of the officers, Corporal Aremu Musefiu, in a fit of anger, opened fire. “The bullet scattered my jaw and cut my right arm. The second bullet entered my wife from the right-hand side of her head and came out through the left side. And my wife died instantly,” Godwin recalls.

After the shooting, the police officers fled, leaving Godwin’s family to face the aftermath alone. Godwin spent a significant portion of his savings on medical treatments, funeral costs, and caring for his children without his partner’s support. His eldest daughter now suffers from brain trauma due to the gunshots, adding another layer of challenge to Godwin’s life.

    The offending officer was initially arrested but disappeared after being released on bail in May 2017. “I need justice and compensation to rebuild my life and care for my children, especially my daughter, who is facing this trauma,” Godwin says.

    Godwin’s story is the focus of a new 12-minute documentary titled “Out of Nowhere.” Produced by Tiger Eye Foundation, a media non-profit advocating for investigative journalism in Africa, it looks into the aftermath of Godwin’s ordeal and his ongoing quest for justice.

    Narrated by Nigerian journalist Abisola Alawode and produced by multimedia storyteller Aisha Salaudeen, “Out of Nowhere” features Abisola visiting Godwin’s family to explore their life since the incident and Godwin’s pursuit of legal redress.

    In collaboration with organisations like The ICIR, Tiger Eye Foundation aims to document the experiences of ordinary Nigerians and promote accountability for survivors of police violence, like Godwin Udoh.

    Join the ICIR WhatsApp channel for in-depth reports on the economy, politics and governance, and investigative reports.

    Support the ICIR

    We invite you to support us to continue the work we do.

    Your support will strengthen journalism in Nigeria and help sustain our democracy.

    If you or someone you know has a lead, tip or personal experience about this report, our WhatsApp line is open and confidential for a conversation


    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here

    Support the ICIR

    We need your support to produce excellent journalism at all times.

    - Advertisement